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MP3 in Surround Sound

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Two track mind for MP3 Surround

More compatible with the binaural world

By Tony Smith

Published Tuesday 3rd January 2006 15:27 GMT


Having seemingly failed to persuade the digital music world to upgrade to MP3 Pro, the format's founder, Germany's Fraunhofer Institute, is trying again, this time with MP3 Surround, a multi-channel implementation of the hugely popular music codec.


Its latest teasers are MP3 SX - short for 'stereo extended' - and Ensonido, respectively technologies for making stereo recordings sound better in a surround sound environment and down-mixing multi-channel sound into two-channel stereo.


The latter technique will be familiar to owners of DVD players that can dynamically mix a movie's 5.1-channel sound track into two channels. MP3 SX's trick isn't entirely new either, but the Fraunhofer Institute reckons its system is particularly good at converting a stereo 'image' into a multi-speaker set-up, avoiding common gotchas such as vocal and solo-instrumental sound sources appearing to come from odd locations.


MP3 SX and Ensonido are available now among Fraunhofer's MP3 Surround demo software selection, written to show what the format is capable of in the hope that audio companies will license the technology. The tools run on Windows, Mac OS X and, in the case of the Institute's command-line tools, on 32/64-bit Linux too.


MP3 Surround was launched just over a year ago, bringing 5.1-channel audio to the MP3 format. It's backward-compatible, so existing MP3 players can reproduce the content, albeit using only two of the channels. MP3 Surround builds on MP3 Pro, launched in 2001, which improved the format's encoding algorithms to generate smaller files with no further reduction in audio fidelity than the MP3 format already produces.


The software is available free of charge "for personal and non-commercial purposes" at www.all4mp3.com.

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well you knock 5.1 sound all you want, after owning a dts cd and hearing how well it sounds; you'll think twice about it :)

I have the remasters of the NIN albums, big whoop they are, also including 5.1 offically released concerts I own, only the first 3 channels are needed, the last 2 channels are ONLY used for crowd noise.


@Hexter: Because Thompson wants to commit towards MP3, even with it's MP4 sucessor they still believe MP3 has more benifits over it's newer incarnation. MP3 is too old now, as we find better ways to improve upon it, the quality loss will be too great by then seeing on how many frequencys we keep messing with so that the average human ear can't tell the difference between a 320 KBPS mp3 and an actual audio CD.

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Listening to music in surround sound is silly, music doesnt sound that way, you dont go to a concert or listen to any band live and hear crap coming from behind you


Surround sound=Movies/Games, its an EFFECT


Stereo/Mono=Music, Its supposed to reproduce music ACCURATELY the way its supposed to sound in real life


The entire point of Hi-Fi systems is to get it to sound more and more liek the real thing, like you where listening live, anything else is an effect and isnt accurate, sure it might sound cool, but its not how music sounds

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it isn't so much the amount of speakers that will make music sound superb, it's the frequency response of the speakers and the power of the woofer/s


IMO, multichannel is more suited for a party environment

Edited by Weirdy
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What is the best audio enhancer for Winamp..

I used Dfx and Wow..Anyone better?

jammix is all I need :D


it only works on winamp versions prior to 5.12 because the input plug-ins are loaded differently


I'm using 5.112


here is my configuration


[Jammix XBS preset]

just open up any saved preset (.jammix) file with notepad and paste that if you want

Edited by Weirdy
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